The Bay of Fundy- Anchor for Innovation A High- Tech Opportunity for Saint Andrews by the SeaByJohn G. Kelly
The Huntsman Marine Science Centre
Global Centre for Ocean Tidal Management
Environmentally Sustainable Ocean aquaculture
An “Anchor” Opportunity
The Bay of Fundy
The formation of the Bay of Fundy is attributed to a geological formation approximately two million years ago. It has a unique geological footprint and is one of only three designated UNESGO Global Geoparks in North America. The formation has created an oceanic gorge that separates the Province of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The Bay of Fundy is an Atlantic Ocean phenomenon. It’s surges from low to high tide of 52 feet (16 metres) are the highest in the world. Moreover, because of the narrow funnel shape of Fundy, the surges create powerful rushes of 100 billion tons of sea water from the Atlantic on a daily basis. This is twice as much as the combined flow of all rivers of the world over the same period.
Ecological & Environmental Infrastructure Attributes
The Bay of Fundy is a renowned oceanic estuary. The combination of location as a mid-point between the south and north Atlantic Ocean and the tidal draw of the surges have made it a desirable seasonal location for an eclectic array fish, sea mammals and birds as well as fertile sea plants; a number of which, notably dulse, have nutrients with health benefits for humans. Sustainable aqua culture management and sea food harvesting is a core component of eco-friendly food management.
The tidal surges of the Bay of Fundy extend into the mouths of a number of fresh water rivers and impact fresh water flows.
Global warming is having a major impact on ocean frontage around the world as sea levels rise. COP 26 has prioritized the need to understand how ocean tides function and what can be done to manage tidal flows of both salt water ocean fronts and fresh water river bank floods in a manner that contributes to a sustainable environment. This is a major concern and priority for global coastal communities.
“Anchor” & Innovation Linkage
“As we shall see, the greatest opportunities for growth lie in communities recognizing their own advantages, then fostering forms of specialized innovation that rely on those advantages.
At the same time, communities must encourage the development of public institutions (NGO’s, think tanks, research centres, post-secondary institutions, etc.) to provide critical support. 
Hiding in plain sight within the world’s rapidly changing production terrain are numerous innovation-based growth opportunities that have nothing to do with – and are much better than trying to create Internet, biotech – or lure science- based manufacturing industries
Dan Breznitz, from whose New York Times best-selling text, Innovation in Real Places, the above quotes are excerpted is lauded as the global guru on explaining to a public and private sector obsessed with promoting technology as the source of innovation to generate wealth how in our “new age” economy actual innovation is invariably linked to “anchors”, notably locations that have an infrastructure and natural attributes that facilitate innovation.
There are permanent locations that are “anchors” and provide the natural infrastructure for specific innovations that have natural linkage or affinity with them. For example, Palo Alto California (Silicon Valley) is a WHO ranked age friendly community with an aging population in close proximity to the major urban centre of San Francisco. Silicon Valley is also is the locus of a leading -edge technology university (Stanford), with an internationally acclaimed science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching faculty and research facilities. In the lexicon of innovation this is labelled as an “Anchor”. Innovations, in this instance a “high tech” cluster are linked to that anchor and thrive.
The Bay of Fundy, Historic St. Andrews by the Sea and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre and historic St. Andrews by the Sea are a composite “Anchor” for innovation in environmentally sustainable coastal tidal management.
Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy
To date, the various public and private sector stakeholders in the Bay of Fundy have focused their efforts on developing technology to harness the power of the tides to generate electricity. The Bay of Fundy has a long history as a source of tidal power that can be traced back to 1607. Over the past 20 years there have been a number of attempts to use modern day technology to develop turbines that can harness the power of the tides to generate “clean/green” energy as a source of electrical power. FORCE is a non- profit non-governmental organization (NGO).
Ironically, the emphasis on utilizing technology to harness the energy from the tidal flows to generate “clean/green” energy has demonstrated the negative impact on the ecosystem of narrowly focusing the scope of tidal management on technology applications. The extensive damage to the aquaculture from the churning of the turbines in the massive tide waters has resulted in putting the project on hold for the foreseeable future.
There is a need for a dedicated “holistic” centre for comprehensive ocean tidal research and management that adheres to a sustainable environmental mandate that fits with the Government of Canada’s commitment to support development of the Bay of Fundy as an “Anchor” for a global centre for research expertise on ocean tidal management
The Ocean Tidal Research and Management Challenge
An “Anchor” Strategy
Turning the tide:
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
COP 26: Tide could still be turned on ‘disproportionate’ climate hazards faced by coastal communities, IFRC report finds
The people living on the world’s coastlines are already facing growing risks due to climate change. The warming climate both creates new threats and exacerbates pre-existing dangers. Sea levels are rising, coastal floods are becoming more severe, storms and cyclones are intensifying, and storm surge is reaching higher levels, further inland. Lives are being lost, homes and property damaged, and essential farmland ruined by saltwater. Vulnerable coastal communities face hard limits to adaptation that cannot be overcome, but also soft limits that can be shifted – with financing, governance and innovation.
A North American Perspective
“With sea-level rise punishing the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards, America’s four most populous states – California, Texas, Florida and New York- all face climate reckoning. Among all global coastal cities ranked by asset value at risk, New York and Miami rank first and second.”
Parag Khanna’s recently published book, Move, the source for the above quote was frequently cited at the COP 26 summit as articulating the architecture for the threat that coastal community landscapes and communities will encounter for the foreseeable future. In the absence of a comprehensive ocean tidal management architecture and operational framework to “stem the tide” the world will be faced with a global climate refugee crisis.
Ocean Tidal Management Opportunity
Town of St. Andrews
The Huntsman Marine Science Centre
Historic St. Andrews by the Sea is strategically located in the ocean tidal management anchor at the head waters of the Bay of Fundy. It’s a WHO rated age friendly community. It’s an idyllic historic heritage community with a vibrant summer tourist economy. The Algonquin Inn, an anchor within the tourist infrastructure, can host international conferences, a considerable value add for a global centre. It has a small town walkable main street with local merchant owned businesses, a core component of age friendly communities that are attracting influxes of new residents. Its proximity to two regional urban centres, Saint John and Fredericton, provides residents with access to a wide selection of goods and services.
As is the case with many historic small towns, it has an aging population as post war boomers and subsequently millennials gravitated to urban centres to pursue professional/paraprofessional careers in a service economy. St. Andrews has the potential to leverage underutilized lands into senior active retirement environments (S.A.F.E), the foundation for multi-generational senior active communities attracting seniors open to transition from family homes. Residential homes at affordable prices will come on the market. A multi-talent mix of millennials and generations x, y, z is looking for affordable age friendly communities to live in. “The ideals of small -town America hold growing appeal as they become alienated from big-city life”. The “new age” service economy is enabling them to work remotely and there is a growing influx of Canadian professionals and para-professionals exiting urban centres for “age friendly” active communities in the east coast.
Health is wealth in an emergent post pandemic society. The town is lacking in comprehensive health care. This can be remedied through adaptation of a contemporary holistic health care system that isn’t traditional medical doctor dominated.
It does have an up to date public education system and a post-secondary college. The college is a prime candidate for development as a centre for skills level coastal tidal administration and sustainable acquaculture management to an international student body along with pro-active partnering with universities and research facilities. These are very attractive age friendly community attributes for families wanting affordable access to quality education for their children.
The Huntsman Marine Science Centre (Huntsman) is a non- profit organization that functions as the research and education centre for a consortium of universities, the critical knowledge prong in the anchor. It’s located on 70 acres of land that includes research and teaching centres along with a residence. It is an acknowledged centre of excellence for marine biology and oceanography. The Huntsman has two primary divisions, education & outreach and aquatic biosciences. Tidal research and management are integrated into both divisions. The Huntsman has an opportunity to leverage its expertise into the leading global Centre for Ocean Tidal Management.
To leverage the of the Bay of Fundy “Anchor”, with age friendly community infrastructure of the town of and the internationally acknowledge expertise of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre into the global centre for ocean tidal research and management
The Huntsman Marine Science Centre for Global Ocean Tidal management
 Dan Breznitz. Innovation in Real Places. New York. Oxford University Press. (2021) at P.5
 Ibid at P 55.
 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
 Parag Khanna, Move. New York. Scribner (2021) at P. 97
 Supra 3 at P106
John G. Kelly
Mentoring & Counselling